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New pledge to create a sustainable water future for Bendigo

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Key agencies have signed a memorandum of understanding as part of a joint effort to prepare a sustainable water future for the Bendigo region.

The new partnership follows the development of the Vision and Transition Strategy for Water Sensitive Bendigo in 2018, which was run by the Cooperative Research Centre for Water Sensitive Cities with significant support from key regional stakeholders.

It set a 50 year vision for Bendigo as a thriving inland city where water innovation would support healthy people, green environments and resilient systems.

City of Greater Bendigo CEO Craig Niemann said the new partnership was an important step towards meeting Bendigo’s aspiration to become a Water Sensitive City that was resilient and prepared for future challenges. 

“Bendigo’s future climate is predicted to be hotter and drier with occasional intense storms. With the agencies working collaboratively, we want to achieve a more sustainable, liveable and resilient future. It will also foster community champions to drive change, support decision- making and care for water resources,” Mr Niemann said.

As part of the commitment, water innovation will be the driving force and will include creating cool green refuges throughout the City and looking at options to revitalise Bendigo’s urban creeks.

Dja Dja Wurrung Clans Aboriginal Corporation CEO Rodney Carter said it was important to manage sustainable water and innovative practices to create a happy and healthy community.

“We are leading by example so that we can drive innovation and create the best possible outcomes for current and future generations.” Mr Carter said.

Coliban Water Acting Managing Director Neville Pearce said that collaboration was a great opportunity to proactively prepare for the future.

“Collaboration and coordination between the involved agencies and the broader community will be critical for navigating current and future challenges and we’ve now agreed how this will be done,” Mr Pearce said.

Cooperative Research Centre for Water Sensitive Cities CEO Professor Tony Wong said this was an exciting opportunity for Bendigo to achieve a more sustainable, liveable and resilient future.

“The signing of the partnership is just the starting point and we are now encouraging all interested community members and stakeholders to get involved to make Bendigo a leader in sustainable water practices and management,” Mr Wong said.

The signing of the MoU took place at Bendigo Town Hall and involved the City of Greater Bendigo; Coliban Water; Dja Dja Wurrung Clans Aboriginal Corporation; the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning; the North Central Catchment Management Authority; the Department of Health and Human Services; Goulburn-Murray Water; and the Cooperative Research Cities.

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